Japan’s ruling party on Monday elected chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga as its new leader, making him all but certain to replace Shinzo Abe as the country’s next prime minister.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Wednesday declared a state of emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic in seven more prefectures.

Osaka and Aichi broadening the scope of the measure amid a resurgence of the pandemic across the country.


The newly declared prefectures, also including Tochigi to the north of Tokyo, Gifu in central Japan, Hyogo and Kyoto in the west, and Fukuoka to the southwest, will remain in the status through Feb. 7.

Under the state of emergency, people in the affected areas will be asked to refrain from making unnecessary trips outdoors, and restaurants and bars will be requested to close by 8:00 pm.

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